New Delhi: Amid the Sino-Indian border tensions, five Rafale aircraft will be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) next month.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the first batch of these five IAF aircraft will be arrive at the IAF’s Air Force Station Ambala on July 29, subject to weather conditions.
However, the Ministry clarified that no media coverage is being planned on their arrival from France. The final induction ceremony will take place in the second half of August 20 wherein full media coverage would be planned.
“The IAF aircrew and ground crew have undergone comprehensive training on the aircraft, including its highly advanced weapons systems and are fully operational now. Post arrival, efforts will focus on operationalisation of the aircraft at the earliest.”
On October 8, 2019, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flew a sortie of the inducted Rafale aircraft in France. “The new Rafale Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) will make India stronger and will give a boost to its air dominance exponentially to ensure peace and security in the region,” he had said during his address at the Rafale handing over ceremony at France’s Merignac.
On June 2, France had reaffirmed its commitment to ensure timely delivery of Rafale aircraft despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
France’s reaffirmation came when Singh had a telephonic conversation with French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly. They discussed matters of mutual concern including the Covid-19 situation, regional security and agreed to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation.